I just wanted to share some ways in which we keep Vienne alive and present in our everyday lives.
(In November, Mark and I went and got these tattoos. We love them. Mark's is obviously Vienne's signature along with her first drawing of a star. This signature is a copy of the first one she wrote on her own, without tracing. The star is something I've mentioned in a previous post - something she randomly drew when she was 14 mo. old...a total fluke and coincidence that her scribble looked like a star. I think I am going to get the star tattooed on my wrist, next (tattoos are addicting! This is my 3rd). I want something from her own hand.)
(My tattoo is a bit more of a story. And, it represents a bit of my alternative ways. As I've made clear before, I am a natural mama, a home birther, an avid breastfeeder, and lover of all things wholistic and pure. So, with that disclaimer in mind, this is inspired from Vienne's 'Tree of Life'. What is a tree of life, you ask? It is the veins of the umbilical cord that sprawl across the placenta to form what is called your "tree of life" - the tree of veins that supplied all the nourishment that sustains a baby in the womb. This tree formed our connection from her very start. Everybody's "tree of life" is unique to themselves, like finger prints. I distinctly recall that when Vienne was born, my midwives marveled over her specific "tree" for it was, as they claimed, so unusual and unique. (But, of course). I guess most "trees of life" look like actual trees, but Vienne's looked like this - almost like a windswept coastal tree. I knew, back then, that I would eventually design a tattoo inspired by her tree. So, of course, we took a photo of it. Once she passed away, I KNEW I had to get it as soon as possible. I designed this, copying her actual tree and make it to look like a hydrangea bush, as well. If you haven't read earlier posts, hydrangeas were Vienne's flower -flowers that bloom in her favorite colors of blue and green. Isn't the detail work beautiful? I just love it. It is not as large as it looks in the photo.)
(I wear these special charms on my neck every single day. My only request for Christmas was this green opal locket. The silver charms have the girls' initials, which I received on Mother's Day. And, I just received the dino charm on another necklace for Christmas, and decided it must join my daily wear. It's a bit busy, but I love it all and it means soooo much.)
(I have decided that I will always paint my toes in Vienne's favorite colors. I think I own every possible shade of blue and green nail polish out there, now.)
(obviously, blue and green have become our family's favorite colors. We gravitate towards the colors whenever shopping for clothes.)
(the photo collage wall I created in the entry hallway. We walk by it several times each day. We take Ivy along this wall and point out the pictures and she always smiles and points.)
(Large printed canvases upstairs in the landing)
(T-Rex, Tornado, and Alice - her favorite friends she played with each day - sit on the sills in the landing)
(Vienne's framed artwork in the guest room/office. I rotate the paintings with the seasons. From left to right: 1) her first painting of a rainbow. 2) a Christmas tree made with layered green hand prints. 3) The Hungry Caterpillar from her handprints, as well. Yes, I am a pinterest-inspired mama, sometimes.)
(the new bathroom for Ivy - disregard Mark's brewing stuff under the window, there. Of course, I had to throw out all the decor from the bathroom that Vienne died in. It was the girls' bathroom. When we moved into this new house, I needed something new. Someone anonymously left this beautiful water color painting of a blue and green hydrangea at Vienne's memorial service. I decided that Ivy's new bathroom should be decorated around this painting - a replacement of Vienne's old bathroom, but still including her in the new. The new bath is blue and green and we love it. It's a ridiculously huge spare bathroom!)
(upstairs hallway...dried hydrangeas kept from her memorial service and a shadow box of photos, outside of Ivy's room.)
(Dinos have become the new gift theme to give us and we love it. We received this salt and paper shaker set for Christmas and this creamer as a house warming gift. We also have a dino towel that hangs on our oven handle - fun little treasures hidden around our home to remind us of Vienne and what she loved.)
(We decided to start a dino and dragon mug collection.)
We also have a blue hydrangea planted in a pot out back. An ornament that she made in Sunday school, that was recently found under the seat in the car, now hangs from my rear view mirror. I sleep with her pillow case under my pillow case - the last one she slept on, and I cannot wash it. We are also working on commissioning a painting of her in Jesus' arms, similar to the one I posted a while back.
And those are just the things from the top of my head.
This helps, as much as it can, to keep my Baby near to my heart and mind. I want to wear her on my sleeve, I want to share her with the world, I want to think of her always, I want her current and with me forever.